It’s funny, I had a conversation with someone the other day and expressed to them how I felt on the inside. I was vulnerable and open and deliberate with my words, and I expected to be received in both a kind and compassionate way.
That wasn’t the case. Instead, they argued with me. They discredited my feelings and I told me in a very condescending tone, “that’s not actually how you feel, is it?”
I was shocked. Kind of. I mean, I didn’t expect to be in an argument around sharing how I felt. It wasn’t a fact, sure, but it was my experience.
What I wanted, instead, was not to be debated with, but to be received — fully.
When I share something with another human being about how I feel and who I am and parts of myself that I don’t typically share with others, I hope that you’d take it as a chance to connect, human to human, rather than something to be diminished, minimized, or completely argued against. It’s not up for debate how I feel. I have no time to argue about that.
What I’m doing when I’m sharing is surrendering my ego in favor of connection. I am wanting to be seen and heard and respected. When this doesn’t happen, trust goes out the window and a different type of connection is formed. It’s no longer “safe” to share when someone rejects you for doing so.
When this happens…
Well first, if you are the one receiving the information, take your ego out of it. Don’t get defensive or scared or fearful. Don’t project your thoughts and opinions onto what the other person is saying. Just listen and receive what they’re saying, fully. As if you are barely even there. Don’t allow your beliefs and values to dictate what you think should be happening. Instead, be open and curious and intrigued that you might actually learn something new about the other person.
If you are the one sharing. Just share without remorse. Share as openly, honestly, and from the heart as you can. Leave the shame, guilt, and fear of judgement behind. The more confident you are in your feelings, beliefs and knowings, the less other people will judge, ridicule, or question your most intimate thoughts and feelings. If they do, simply take that as their own biases and ultimately, limitations. If they can’t be open enough to see or form a new opinion or belief, just acknowledge that and move on. It’s something you can’t and will never be able to do anything about, anyway.